How To Drive Safely During A Thunderstorm

How To Drive Safely During A Thunderstorm

Thunderstorms are dangerous for drivers and commuters, regardless if they are big or small. After all, storms generate flashes of lightning, and these natural occurrences are something that you cannot underestimate. 

Furthermore, thunderstorms also produce heavy rain and strong gusts of wind. On some occasions, thunderstorms bring forth deleterious hail. 

As a driver, you need to be defensive whenever you encounter this weather disturbance. Not only you have to keep yourself safe, but you also need to protect your passengers and vehicle, too. Don’t push yourself to drive under this condition. It is okay to arrive late in your destination than leaving your safety to chances. 

Moreover, here are some things that you can do to protect yourself against the stormy weather.

Tips On How To Drive Safely During A Thunderstorm

Avoid The Thunderstorm

As much as possible, you need to avoid a thunderstorm. If there’s an option for you to step away from it, then, by all means, do so. There are a lot of reasons why you need to elude the dangers of a thunderstorm. Keep in mind that it is not worth the risk. 

First of all, heavy rain can drastically road visibility. It is dangerous to drive in a condition where you can’t see even a meter in front of you. Also, don’t forget that concrete roads get slippery when drenched in the rain, too. Therefore, the chances of accidents escalate, even if the path is empty. 

It is crucial that you always check your local weather stations to know if there’s an incoming thunderstorm. Try to determine if the weather is tolerable or requires extra caution on your part. If they said that it is severe, then it would be best to cancel or delay your drive.

Be Aware Of The Elements You Will Encounter

If you were caught suddenly by the thunderstorm, it would be best that you know what you are going to encounter. It will help you be on guard for the possible elements that could cause distraught in your driving. There are some regions in the world where thunderstorms produce hail storms. Meanwhile, in other areas, thunderstorms summon flash floods, and they are equally dangerous, too. 

Here are the other conditions that you could encounter in a thunderstorm. 

  • Mild to severe precipitation
  • Strong winds
  • Bolts of Lightning and thunders
  • Tornadoes
  • Muddy roads and paths that are blocked by debris (e.g. fallen trees, boulders, and landslides)

Encountering any of these elements is enough to make anyone reconsider their journey. If you deem that the situation is terrible, then it is recommended to suspend your drive. It is not worth it. 

Don’t Drive If Your Vehicle Has No Hard Windows And Roof

As mentioned, it is prim and proper to drive defensively. If possible, you need to ensure that your vehicle has enough structural durability. Hard roofs and windows are essential to protect you from the harsh elements. Driving in a convertible, on the other hand, is not recommended, as it offers an insufficient defense. If there are falling hailstones or debris, a convertible will never be able to keep you safe. 

Furthermore, vehicles have to be insulated on the outside. Electricity coming from lightning strikes can travel from a distance. If there is lightning nearby, make sure that you proceed in a low-altitude area with a lot of towering trees. Lightning tends to hit the tallest points. So as long as you are in a low position, you’ll never be a vulnerable target. 

Needless to say, you should drive a vehicle that doesn’t have a casing or closed body. Examples of these are golf cars and motorcycles.

Perform Vehicle Maintenance

To make sure that your vehicle can withstand severe weather disturbances, it should be in its optimal condition. Therefore, before you even start driving, you need to check the status of your vehicle. It is here where you can find faulty wiring, damaged tires, and engine issues. It is essential that you can spot these errors as they might erupt during a heavy thunderstorm. 

These are the aspects of the vehicle that you should check:

  • Brakes
  • Blinkers
  • Headlights and taillights
  • Windshield and wipers
  • Tires
  • Oil levels

Even if there are no thunderstorms, you should do these check-ups regularly. You will be able to avoid driving accidents and problems if your car or truck is healthy and free from any hardware and internal issues.